Imprisoned journalist complains about prison conditions

January 30th, 2014

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The imprisoned editor-in-chief of “Tolyshi Sado” newspaper, Hilal Mammadov complained about his prison conditions during a phone conversation with his family on January 24, his brother Sabahaddin Mammadov told the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) today.

As Sabahaddin Mammadov put it, his brother’s medicines, documents and money was grabbed and his hair was cut against his will in the Prison #17.

With regard to the issue, the journalist’s lawyer Ramiz Mammadov told IRFS that he and the other lawyers of the journalist have not been able to meet him as yet. “That’s why we do not know what the real situation is like there. We have already sent a meeting request to the Penitentiary Service and are waiting for a response,” the lawyer said.

Commenting on Hilal Mammadov’s statement, Head of Public Relations Department of the Penitentiary Service, Mehman Sadigov said each prison has its own rules of discipline and both the prison officers and the convicts must abide by these rules. “Every step that is taken by prison authorities are in line with the law. The prisoners are provided with special garments and their hair is cut. As for personal belongings, there is a specific list of items that prisoners are allowed to have. Above all, none of the medicines that the journalist needs for his health have been taken from him,” Sadigov said.

Background: Hilal Mammadov was sentenced to 5 years in jail on 25 September 2013, on charges of illegal possession of drugs in large quantities (Article 234.4.3/Criminal Code), treason (Article 274/Criminal Code), and incitement to national, racial, social and religious hatred and hostility (Article 283/Criminal Code).